Derps and herpaderps – 4 short stories for your facepalming pleasure

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First off, disclaimer: I am not in IT. Nowhere close. That said, I’ve always enjoyed working with computers, especially with hardware issues, and when my boss found out I’m able to do that, she promptly started using me as technical support…for her entire family. I should have realized this was going to be tough when they lost over a year’s worth of business records because they didn’t realize they had to actually back stuff up.

The first “derp” moment came when they wanted to buy their college freshman a new computer. I took the time to explain what they needed to look for, recommend some models that would give them great value for their money, and felt pretty confident that they could get something appropriate. They wound up with a Mac that would be great for doing some photo or video editing…for their daughter who is pretty much limited to Facebook and wasn’t going into any field requiring that – she just wanted a Mac because “everyone has one.” And then they wanted to know why their existing copies of Microsoft Office wouldn’t work on it.

The second “derp” moment came when their main computer wouldn’t connect to the Internet using Internet Explorer. Obviously, this had something to do with me trying to convince them to use Firefox instead. I nearly bit through my lip when a family friend who was “good with computers” told me it was obviously related to the recent Firefox update, and Internet Explorer was a much better browser. Turned out it was a setting that had gotten messed up (I don’t remember what it was, but I checked one box and that was it), but they still prefer to use the “better” browser.

A third “derp” moment occured when my boss was complaining about losing all the data she had stored on her iPhone. Turned out she’d been sharing an iTunes account with her husband and had finally gotten her own, with no idea how to back things up or migrate them to her own account. I’m sure I could have easily shown her where to find things like her pictures, but I was beginning to see how futile it all was…

The truly “herpaderp” moment, though, came when my boss’s mother came in to process some paperwork while my boss and her family were out of town. It was half an hour before I was due to come in, and she called my co-worker complaining that the computer wasn’t working and was giving her an error message. He told her I’d be in soon, so she waited for me to show up. When I finally walked into work, she told me that the computer wasn’t working and was giving her an error message, which she worded so vaguely I didn’t know what was going on. I sat down and noticed the tower was turned off, so I leaned over and turned it on. Instantly, she said “Oh, was it off? You know, [boss] said something about shutting it down before she left, but I didn’t know that’s what she meant!” The computer was perfectly fine – the “error message” had been the monitor’s “going into energy conservation mode” message when she had tried to turn it on.

This doesn’t even begin to cover the number of times I’ve cleaned viruses off their computers, performed system restores, etc (because they insist on using IE, of course). Some people just shouldn’t even be allowed to touch computers.

– NICE.  Welcome to our world! – Rob

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